Math Curriculum Comparison

Comparing & Choosing the RIGHT Math Curriculum

Print my free curriculum chart above to make notes as you look through the math programs below. Review and compare with these questions:

Compare Curriculum with these questions:
- Does it best fit my child’s learning style?
- Does it fit within my family’s chosen teaching method?
- Are there extras to purchase and if so, do they fit within my budget? 
- Can it be used with multiple kids?
- How teacher intensive is it?
- Are the books consumable / non-consumable?

Mathematical Reasoning (Grades PreK – 6)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Teacher Directed
  • Includes: 1 Book includes Teacher Manual, Workbook & Answer Key
  • Supplemental books available for more challenging work
  • Notes: Made by The Critical Thinking Co., it uses logical & critical thinking concepts

Miquon Math  (Grades 1 – 3)


Singapore Primary Math (Grades 1 – 6)

  • Teaching Method - Sequential / Teacher directed for lower levels, Independent when student can read
  • Includes: Home Instructor Guide, 2 Workbooks (A & B) & 2 Textbooks (A & B) per grade
  • Extras Available: Extra Practice Books for more challenging work
  • Uses the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Method of teaching
  • Notes: There are 3 different versions available: The US Edition which is the actual Singapore version adapted to include US measurements, the US Standards Edition which is aligned to California math standards and the Common Core Edition. The Common Core edition does not include cumulative reviews as the other two editions do

Beast Academy (Grades 2 - 5)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: 4 Units per grade, A-D. Each unit includes a Guide Book & Practice Book
  • Versions Available: Physical Books / Online version available in 2018
  • Extras Available: Website includes free printable worksheets for extra practice, and Assessment tests
  • Published by the Art of Problem Solving team
  • Notes: Guide books are very colorful using a comic book style, story format. Practice problems are taught through games and hands-on activities with practice books printed in black & white

Math-U-See (Primer thru Calculus)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Teacher-directed for early grades, Independent for older grades
  • Includes: Instructor Pack has solutions, answers, and DVD, Student Pack has workbook & tests
  • Versions Available: App is available for manipulatives
  • Extras Needed: Primer – Algebra 1 uses Base 10 blocks or the App
  • Encourages use of manipulatives through Algebra 1
  • Notes: The DVD is a critical part of this program. It helps the teacher teach the program and allows older students to work independently

Saxon Math (Grades K – 3)

  • Teaching Method - Spiral / Teacher Scripted
  • Includes: Homestudy Kit, Meeting Book, 2 Student Books, Fact Cards
  • Extras Needed: Manipulative Kit
  • Lower levels of Saxon are very teacher intensive and taught using manipulatives.
  • Notes: Levels K - 3 were not written by Stephen Hake or John Saxon, as the upper levels were

Saxon Math Intermediate (Grades 3 – 5)

  • Teaching Method - Spiral / Teacher Taught then Student Independent
  • Includes: Homeschool Kit includes Student Book, Solutions Manual, Power Up Workbook & Testing Book
  • Series is written by Stephen Hake
  • Notes: Layout of lessons are similar to the upper level Saxon Math series

Saxon Math Upper Levels (Grades 5/4 – Calculus)

  • Teaching Method - Spiral / Independent
  • Includes: Homeschool Kit includes Student Book, Solutions Manual, Tests & Answer Key
  • Extras Available: Teaching DVD’s for upper levels
  • There are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions available for this series which is written by Stephen Hake & John Saxon
  • Notes: It is recommended that you stick with either the 2nd & 3rd editions or the 4th edition for the upper levels. Do not switch between them, due to the addition of the Geometry text in 4th.
  • Saxon Math review (coming soon)

Teaching Textbooks (Grades 3 – Pre-Calculus)

  • Teaching Method - Spiral / Independent
  • Includes: Student Book & Answer Key, Set of Discs for physical books
  • Versions / Formats - Discs or Online (available for computer & tablets)
  • Extras Included: Automatic grading feature, can use on multiple computers, customer support
  • Notes: Lessons are taught using CDs with problems worked out in the student book. Program features include reference numbers for each problem so students can see where a problem was first introduced.

Christian Light Education (Grades 1 - 12)

  • Teaching Method - Mastery / Teacher Directed in early grades, Independent in upper grades
  • Includes: Teacher Book, Student Books (Light Units which are 10 mini workbooks), Answer Key
  • Extras Needed: Flash Cards & Manipulatives for early grades
  • Extras Available: Reference charts
  • Notes: Use of flashcards & speed drills in each lesson to master math facts

Math Lessons for A Living Education (Grades 1 - 6)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Teacher Directed / Charlotte Mason Method
  • Includes: Level 1 -5 Book includes: Daily Schedule, Lessons, Worksheets, Manipulatives Section, Answer Key / Level 6 includes: Student Book with Lessons & Worksheets and Teacher Book with Daily Schedule, Quizzes, Solutions Manual, Multiplication Grid
  • Versions Available: Physical Books only
  • Teacher Book for level 6 includes the 1st chapter of Principles of Math book 1 Student & Teacher. All physical workbook pages are perforated & 3-hole punched for convenience
  • Notes: This is a Charlotte Mason based curriculum which blends in stories, copy work, oral narration and hands-on concepts. Publisher is Masterbooks

Horizons Math (Grades K - 6)

  • Teaching Method – Spiral / Teacher Directed
  • Includes: 2 Full-Color Student Workbooks, Teacher Book includes answers & tests and reproducible worksheets
  • Versions Available: Reproducible Worksheets can be purchased separately
  • Extras Needed: Manipulatives for early grades
  • Teacher Manual is an essential part of the program and includes a lot of extras
  • Notes: This program was designed for homeschooling and includes quarterly tests and final exams for upper grade levels.

Math Mammoth, Light Blue & Blue Series  (Grades 1 – 7)

  • Teaching Method - Mastery / Independent (when they can read)
  • Includes: 2 Books per grade (A & B) each includes Instructions, Student Book, Tests, Reviews, & Answers
  • Versions Available: CD, Download of “Extras” available
  • Extras Included: A Worksheet Maker / Mini-Math course / A gift of hundreds of free worksheets
  • Inside the books are a lot of helpful resources that includes website links and games / 
  • Notes: These books are mostly black & white with some color

Rod & Staff Math  (Grades 1 – 8)

  • Teaching Method - Traditional / Teacher Directed
  • Includes: Teacher Manuals, Student Book, Speed Drills, Test & Quizzes for older grades
  • Extras Needed: Flash Cards used in younger grades
  • Emphasizes drill & memorization
  • Notes: This curriculum is designed for classroom use, books are black & white

Right Start Math (Grades K – 8)

  • Teaching Method - Conceptual & Multisensory /Teaching Involvement is heavy
  • Includes: Lesson Book, Worksheet Book, MathCard Games Book w/DVD
  • Versions Available: eBook for worksheets
  • Extras Needed: Manipulative Kit needed for all levels
  • A Multisensory program that focuses on concepts using the AL Abacus
  • Notes: 2nd Edition now available that eliminates the need for the “transition” books

1XL Online (Grades PreK – Calculus)

  • Teaching Method - Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Membership based. No books.
  • Versions Available: Online format
  • Tracks student progress performance and readiness for standardized testing.

A+ Interactive Online (Grades 1 – Algebra)

  • Teaching Method - Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Choose either online format (paid monthly, quarterly, annually) or CD format
  • Versions Available: Online format & CD / Online format available on computers & tablets
  • Extras Available: Choose from: Family Package (includes access to all grade levels) / Single Grade Level / Single Curriculum / Mini Courses / Placement Tests / Free 1-Month Trial
  • Notes: Online version allows you to print worksheets for extra practice, redo tests & quizzes if needed, includes a Parent Dashboard for tracking all your students’ progress and grading. Can print lesson plans or assign your own preferred sequence of lessons.

Life of Fred Elementary (Elementary Grades)

  • Teaching Method – Conceptual / Teacher Directed or Independent based on child
  • Includes: Textbook only (no Teacher book or Answer key)
  • Not a “traditional” math program, these math books read as a story with practical applications of math rather than lists of problems to solve. Can be used in addition to your math curriculum
  • Notes: Series is written in alpha order, start with “A” and work your way through the letters

Life of Fred Upper Levels (Middle – High School)

  • Teaching Method – Conceptual / Independent
  • Includes: Textbook / Home Companion Guide & Zillions of Practice Problems available for some high school levels
  • Not a “traditional” math program, these math books read as a story with practical applications of math rather than lists of problems to solve. Can be used in addition to your math curriculum
  • Notes: There are new “Expanded” editions available now that incorporate the textbook and home companion guide into 1 textbook. Visit the website to see full descriptions of each book and what each one includes. LOF also offers college prep math books

CTC Math Online (K – High School)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Online Format / Subscription-Based
  • Versions Available: Online
  • Extras Available: Choose from - Family Package (includes access to all grade levels) / Single Student. Tutorial summaries of lessons can be printed for review of each lesson
  • Notes: Parents can track the progress of their students, maintain records & grading

Khan Academy Math (K – High School)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Online Format / Free
  • Versions Available: Online via computer or tablet
  • Notes: Taught by instructors through video-based lessons. You can search for a topic that you need extra help with or create a lesson plan and watch videos in order of your lessons

Principles of Math (Grades 7 - 8)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Teacher Book & Student Workbook
  • Versions Available: Physical Book and Downloadable eBook for both TB and SW
  • Uses Mastery concept, but provides review within each lesson. All physical workbook pages are perforated & 3-hole punched for convenience
  • Notes: Prepares students for Algebra using real-world problem-solving concepts. Publisher is MasterBooks

Jacob’s Math (Grades 9 - 12)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Teacher Book includes daily schedule, reference pages, tests, test solutions / Student Book, Solutions Manual, DVD Set
  • Versions Available: Physical Books
  • Free homework helps available through email support. Pages are perforated & 3-hole punched for convenience
  • Notes: Currently they only have Algebra and Geometry available. The publisher is Master Books

Art of Problem Solving Math (Grades 6 - 12)

  • Teaching Method – Conceptual / Independent
  • Includes: Text and Solutions Manual
  • Versions Available: Paperback (Text & Solutions Manual) + Online Book / Online Classes
  • Extras Available: AoPS provides a free account to Alcumus which is an online learning system / numerous videos & articles are available for extra help / MATHCOUNTS Trainer offers access to thousands of math questions & solutions / An online community forum to collaborate with others using this program
  • Published by the Art of Problem Solving team
  • Notes: AoPS states that their program “is designed for outstanding math students in grades 6-12. Our texts offer broader, deeper, and more challenging instruction than other curricula.”

Chalk Dust Math (Grades 6 - 12)

  • Teaching Method – Conceptual / Independent
  • Includes: Text and Solutions Manual, DVD Set
  • Versions Available: video instruction based
  • Extras Available: Offers a free DVD explaining the program / Student Technical Support available even if you buy a used DVD version / Can order replacement DVD’s
  • Notes: The company offers a “100% refund on any learning package returned in good condition within 30 or purchase, minus shipping charges” if the course does not work for your learning style

Shormann Math (Grades 6 - 12)

  • Teaching Method – Mastery / Independent
  • Includes: Textbook, Solutions Manual, and Teachers Guide are in ebook format
  • Versions Available: Online instruction / Self-Paced
  • Extras Available: Automatic grading and grade recording of all assignments. Video and PDF solutions for every question offers email support with Dr. Shormann, references to the previous lesson for extra help with questions.
  • Notes: Algebra 1 and 2 integrates Geometry, so completion of both courses will earn 3 credits: 1 credit for Algebra 1, 1 Credit for Algebra 2, and 1 Credit for Geometry. The 2 courses can be completed in 3 years or 2 years based on your child's ability.

Mr. D’s Math (Grades Pre-Algebra – Pre-Calculus)

  • Teaching Method - Mastery / Independent Online Classes
  • Includes: Student Book, Tests, Exams, Solutions Manual, Online Grade Book
  • Versions Available: Choose either a “Live” class or “Self-Paced” class
  • Extras Available: email access to Mr. D math teaching staff for extra support
  • “Live” classes meet once a week in a virtual classroom, “Self-Paced” classes are taught via video-based instruction
  • Notes: A 3rd option available is to attend classes in person. Local homeschooling co-ops can form a Mr. D Math Class, check the website to see if there is a class available in your area.
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